Leonardo and Cameron
Leonardo Gray was born and raised in Stardew Valley. He planned to stay there until the day he died. He worked on his family’s farm, and after their passing it became his farm. He met a girl and settled down in the small town. His best friend, Lewis, was his best man during the ceremony. Soon after their marriage the happy couple had a son, they named him Cameron.
When he was old enough, he started helping on the farm. At first, they were simple tasks. Throwing seed for the chicken and ducks to eat. As Cameron grew older, the tasks grew with difficulty. Soon he was shearing sheep, milking cows, and even helping tend to the crops.
Everything was good. The family was happy. Sunrise Farm was thriving. What could go wrong?
“It’s calling my name!” he shouted. “Did you really think I was going to stay here my whole life?”
“Where are you going to go?” Leo shouted back, “Your money can’t get you an apartment out there, Cameron.”
“I don’t care. I can’t stay here. I want to see what’s out there,” he gestured through the wall of their home, towards the direct of Zuzu city. “I want to find a stable job out there. I want to raise a family. And there’s no way in hell I can do that here.” He sighed, looking at his parents. His dad was red faced, angry. His mom.. She was sad, silent tears streaming down her face.
“Look,” he continued after a brief silence, “Everyone in Stardew Valley I see as family. Jodi. Caroline. Marnie. I can’t date them. Isn’t dating your family illegal? Do you want me breaking the law?” He looked at his dad, his expression lightening.
“I want to find someone to settle down with. Maybe go back to school. Anything other than be a farmer.”
“Cam...,” his mother spoke quietly, voice wavering, “You know we only want the best for you, right?” Cameron nodded. “Let me help you find a place out there. Don’t go just yet.”
He hesitated, shifting his weight from one leg to the other. His grip never left the backpack on his back.
After a silence, he sighed. “Alright, Mom.”
Melody took Cameron’s hand, gently, and they walked out of view of Leonardo. This left him alone with nothing but his thoughts. He wanted the world for his son, but he couldn’t bear the idea of him leaving. His only son, leaving for a realm completely different than what he grew up in. Would he be okay? Would he manage out there? Get a job? Settle down some place nice, with a nice girl? He sat in silence for a long time, before a realization came to him;
His son was leaving the Valley.
The last time Sabrina saw her Grandfather, the visit ended in a fight between him and her father, Cameron. She tried to defend her Grandfather, but every time she opened her mouth to speak her father hushed her. He had said, “You’re too young to know what you’re talking about,” and although the topic of the argument was long forgotten, that sentence stuck with Sabrina.
It had been 5 years since then.
“It’s been long enough, right?” Sabrina thought aloud. “They can’t still be mad at each other. There’s no way.”
A visit was needed. If Cameron and Leonardo got into a fight again, she could try to diffuse it. She was older, and Cameron couldn’t say anything about her being young.
Plus, she just wanted to see her Grandfather again.
“Absolutely not, Sabrina!”
“But why not?” she cried. “You haven’t seen him in years! Don’t you miss him?”
Cameron scoffed, “That old man is crazy, Sab. I miss who he was. Not him now.”
Sabrina recoiled, had he really just said that? About his own father? Her Grandfather?
Cameron continued, “He thinks the city is corrupting me. Turning me into some type of monster. He’s always been against the city. The day I told him I was leaving, we fought. The only reason he didn’t beat me right then and there was because Ma was around!”
Sabrina stayed silent. He couldn’t be a crazy old man. Sure, he had his wacky moments, but he’s been the same old Grandpa for as long as she could remember. He taught her how to ride a horse. Showed her how to fish in the river. Told her bedtime stories of the monsters that lived around town. Maybe that’s why Cameron thought he was crazy. Monsters don’t exist.
“I’ll go myself then,” Sabrina said, coldly. “Unless mom wants to come with me,” she glanced towards her mom.
Her mom returned a sad smile, “I’d love to dear but.. You know it’s getting to be busy around the shop. I can’t afford the time off right now.”
Cameron rolled his eyes and put his hands up in defeat, “Fine, do what you want. But don’t come crying to me when you learn yourself that he’s just a crazy, senile, old man.”
“He’s not a crazy old man,” Sabrina mumbled to herself. She glanced at her phone. 10:27.
“When’s the bus gonna be here?” A young boy whined.
“Soon sweetie, I promise,” the mother replied.
Is she waiting for the Stardew bus too? Sabrina thought.
Sabrina chose the day of the Stardew Valley fair to make a surprise visit to her Grandfather. When she was younger the fair seemed never ending. Booths filled with games were scattered throughout town. With games came prizes, lots of prizes. The strong man game gave out the big stuffed animals, Sabrina always begged her Dad to win one for her. The fishing game gave out miniature toy ducks and fish. Of course, the slingshot game gave out the best prize. If you managed to break the high score they would send you on your way with your own slingshot. Parents didn’t like it for a lot of reasons, but it kept the kids entertained.
Then there was the smell of fresh-baked food, apple pies, pumpkin pies, stuffing, pumpkin soup. Just the thought alone was able to bring Sabrina close to drooling. Almost all of it was made by the people of Pelican town. They either grew the ingredients or bought them from her Grandfather's farm. The meals from Pelican Town always tasted better then from back home.
Finally, there was the petting zoo. The owner of the local ranch picked out a spot and made some corralls to hold animals from the ranch. Chickens and ducks clucked, and pecked at your hand if you held out your palm filled with seed. Cows were gentle giants, they would lick you through the fencing whether you had food or not. The owner would also set kids on top of the giant beasts, and that always got kids to laugh. Of course, his trusty horse was always around. He carefully eat carrots out of the hands of kids, and gently nudged them with his head.
Sabrina was quickly snapped from her thoughts, hearing the squeak of brakes. She tugged her sweater, anxiously. The bus seemed old, and with odd colors, gray with pink and blue striped.
The doors opened, and a blonde, curly haired woman called out, “Bus to Stardew Valley.” She seemed less than enthusiastic about the trip announcement.
Sabrina took a seat at the front of the bus. There were a few other people who climbed aboard, but after waiting for a few more minutes the bus started rolling.
“Hey kid,” a voice startled Sabrina from her sleep. She opened her eyes and saw the same bus driver looking at her. “We’re here.”
Sabrina’s face flushed red, “I, um, sorry.” She quickly collected her backpack and exited the bus. She stepped on to the grass and saw a path a little ways in front of her.
The bus driver exited the bus, “Fair’s to the left.” She said to Sabrina, then followed the path herself.
Sabrina took a breath, and followed behind the driver. The town square was filled with life. Children were running from booth to booth playing games. The petting zoo was set up, managed by a scraggly looking man. The smell of delicious food wafted in the air. It wasn’t quite how she remembered it. It seemed smaller, but then again, the world seems huge as a kid.
Walking deeper into town, several boxes caught Sabrina’s eyes. There were 6 boxes in total, each filled with goods and having different names attached to them.
“Pierre… Marnie… Willy… Clint… Marlon… and… Leo,” she spoke to no one.
All four boxes were filled with goods. Pierre’s box had a variety of vegetables. Marnie’s box had cheeses, milk, and even cloth. Willy’s box had a lot of fish. Clint’s box had gemstones and ores. Marlon’s box had… What did Marlon’s box have? Sabrina stood, pondering.
“Ah, I see you’re looking at my winnings,” an older man said to Sabrina.
“I um.. What are they?” Sabrina questioned, warily.
“Monsters? But.. Monsters don’t-” Sabrina was interrupted.
“That’s what they tell you, kiddo,” the man chuckled. “Name’s Marlon. I run the Adventurer’s Guild in town. It’s just me and my pal Gil nowadays, but we take care of the monsters in town.”
“Huh.. Cool,” was all Sabrina was able to get out. Maybe Dad was right… she thought. The people here are kinda wacky…
She looked to the last box. Leo. Pops. It had the most variety of all of them. There were jams, wine, fruit, and gemstones. She glanced to the other box of gemstones. Pops’ gems seemed somehow brighter than his.
“Well, isn’t this a sight for sore eyes!” a man exclaimed.
Sabrina turned around, meeting the eyes of an older man, “Lewis!” She exclaimed happily.
Lewis, the Mayor of Pelican Town, made his way to the girl. He hugged her, smiling the whole time. “I bet Leo is so glad to see you!”
“Um, actually..” Sabrina hesitated.
“He doesn’t know you’re here?”
Sabrina shook her head. “I wanted to surprise him.”
“And surprised he will be!” Lewis gleamed.
Lewis cleared his throat, “Attention everyone! I would like to announce the winner of the Grange Display!”
A majority of the out of towners had left at this point. That left the townsfolk crowding around Lewis. The most excited ones seemingly the contestants.
“In third place... Clint!”
The man, known as Clint, waved and smiled awkwardly. Leo giving him a proud slap on the back. Sabrina glanced back to the boxes, trying to pin a box to the man. Clint was the man with the gemstones.
“In second place… Marnie!”
Marnie, a heavier woman, cheered loudly, earning plenty of congratulations. Again, glancing to the boxes, Sabrina determined she was the rancher of the group.
“And in first place… Leo!”
A man in the group groaned loudly, and Leo just laughed. “Maybe next year Pierre!”
Sabrina glanced to the remaining boxes. Pierre had… The produce. That just leaves.. Her eyes scanned the crowd for who could be the mysterious Willy.
Lewis smiled, “I’m sure you’re all wondering what your prizes are this year. Clint wins 500G, and Marnie, 750G!”
Their eyes both lit up. Marnie hugged Lewis, maybe a little too friendly, and Clint shook his hand with a smile.
“Leo,” he looked at his best friend, “I actually have a special prize for you!”
Pierre rolled his eyes, “Lewis, is playing favorites really fair? Maybe we need a new judge next year.”
“Now now Pierre…” the older man chuckled.
“Um.. Hi,” a small voice said from behind the group.
Lewis smiled, and the crowd turned to see Sabrina standing behind them.
“Sabby-Rina!” Leo exclaimed. He walked over to her and wrapped her in a bear hug, “What’re you doing out there Girly?”
Sabrina smiled, “Surprise visit?”
Before she knew it, the weekend was over, and she was back on the bus returning to Zuzu city. Lewis and Leo waved from the stop until they were out of view. She sighed, and smiled. She knew Pops wasn’t crazy. He was still the same old man that she knew and loved growing up. Still as kind and considerate as ever.
The two had caught up. Sabrina had talked about work and the stress of it all, and Leo had invited her to stay longer. She smiled at the thought, I’d love to, but I’ve got a really important project to get back to, she had replied.
Well, whenever you need a change you know where to find me, Kiddo.
She turned a key over in her hands. It was engraved with Sunrise Farm. The metal was cold in her hands, but it felt like it belonged with her. Looking out the window, trying to find the last view of the Valley, Sabrina made an important decision in her life.
She would come back to the Valley.